About the Gold Star Lapel Pin

The History of the Gold Star lapel pin

The gold star lapel pins is furnished by the Defense Department to the family members of a soldier who lost his or her life while in active military service.

The pin is awarded to the widow or widower (wife or husband of the soldier), to the parents of the soldier and to each of that soldiers children, and to his or her brothers, and sisters.


Directed by the 89th Congress for the United States, the gold star lapel pin is, approximately 16 mm in diameter, and consists of a gold star on a purple circular background, bordered in gold and surrounded by gold laurel leaves. On the reverse is the inscription, ” United States of America, Act of Congress, August 1947,” with space for engraving the initials of the recipient.

If you have not received your pin you can apply yourself using Defense Dept form DD-3. Here is a link to the gold star lapel pin application form in pdf format. You must have Adobe Reader installed on your computer. If others in your family have not received their pins, make copies of Form DD-3 for them also.

If you are mailing in form DD-3, it is wise to include a copy of DD-1300, Report of Casualty. This is the military equivalent of a death certificate. Even though this is not mentioned on the DD-3 instructions, you will likely be rejected for “insufficient proof” if you don’t include it.

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